7 Sources of Financial Assistance for Supporting a Child With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability among children. It can put a significant financial strain on parents and caregivers. The medical costs alone for children who have cerebral palsy are 10 times higher than those of children who do not have cerebral palsy. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can seek financial assistance.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The IDEA helps to provide services for children with disabilities such as CP. Each state handles payment for these services differently. Your state’s service coordinator must provide you with a system of payments in writing that details what is available and what it will cost.
Part C of IDEA provides early intervention services to children up to 36 months of age. Under Part C, you are entitled to the following services free of charge:
- Evaluations and assessments
- Development and review of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Child Find services
- Service coordination
Part B of IDEA assists school-age children between the ages of 3 and 21. This part of the act will provide you with free:
- Specially designed instruction
- Classroom adaptations, accommodations, and modifications
- Supplementary aids and services such as assistive technology or peer tutors
The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA)
CHASA provides cerebral palsy financial assistance to families with children who have hemiplegia or have had a stroke. One study found that 68% of the assessed children who had had a perinatal stroke also had CP. This was most commonly hemiplegic. CHASA offers the following types of assistance for these children:
- Orthotic grants for foot or hand braces
- College and vocational scholarships
- Scholarships for the CHASA Family Retreat
- Athletic scholarships to cover the registration fee for sports
UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF)
UHCCF offers cerebral palsy financial assistance in the form of medical grants. The foundation awarded 3,553 medical grants in 2019 worth approximately $5.2 million. You may be awarded up to $5,000 in a year or up to $10,000 a lifetime for each child.
You must provide detailed information on your child’s medical condition and the services for which you’re seeking funds. If you’re awarded a grant, the funds may be used to cover medical costs incurred within 60 days of the completion of your application. The funds are good for one year after they are approved.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI payments are available for low-income families that have a child or children with disabilities. To qualify, you must have limited funds and assets as well as medical documentation regarding your child’s cerebral palsy. SSI benefits can be used to pay for housing, utility costs, living expenses, general expenses, and even clothing.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a federally funded program that helps families pay for food when they have limited means. Providing for a child with CP can put a significant financial strain on any family. SNAP may help you fill an essential gap, providing healthy food for your family, so you have more funds available for your child’s medical needs.
SNAP has strict income requirements based on the size of your family. You may also take a deduction for medical costs and dependent care expenses, which are often high for children with cerebral palsy. Your SNAP benefits can be used for nearly any type of food, with a few exclusions.
Medicaid and CHIP
Medicaid and CHIP provide federal health insurance for families with a limited income. State policies vary regarding the coverage that’s available. Medicaid covers many services for children with disabilities including early and periodic screening, diagnostic services, physical and behavioral health, treatment, and other services and supports.
CHIP benefits are available for families whose incomes are too high for Medicaid. CHIP provides coverage for a variety of medical needs, including routine checkups, medications, dental care, vision care, emergency services, lab and x-ray services, and both inpatient and outpatient hospital care.
If your child’s CP could have been caused by a medical professional, you may be eligible for cerebral palsy financial assistance that will help pay for your child’s medical needs. There are many forms of medical negligence that can lead to CP. Mismanaged labor and delivery, a delayed C-section, delayed delivery and fetal monitoring errors are just some of the possible contributors to CP that are preventable.
If you suspect medical negligence in your child’s case, obtain a copy of their medical records and seek assistance from both medical and legal professionals in deciphering them. There is a statute of limitations on this type of case, so you should act promptly if you plan to file a lawsuit on behalf of your child.
If you think that you may have a case for medical negligence in your child’s CP, you could receive compensation that will provide significant financial assistance for your family. Contact the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC to start seeking justice in your case.